Defying strict rules that restrict gatherings to five people during the coronavirus pandemic, demonstrators walked through central Warsaw streets carrying black umbrellas, a symbol of abortion rights protests in Poland, and banners that read “I think, I feel, I decide” or “God is a woman”.
Military police lined the streets, some of in riot gear, as the demonstration began.
Organisers and the city of Warsaw said some 100,000 people took part, one of the largest protest gatherings in years, following a Constitutional Court ruling on Oct. 22 outlawing abortions due to foetal defects. It ended the most common of the few legal grounds left for abortion in Poland and set the country further apart from Europe’s mainstream.
Daily protests have taken place across the country in the past week, and have turned into an outpouring of anger against five years of nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) rule and the Roman Catholic church, which is an ally of the government.